Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: charlotte richardson andrews, MIA, space odyssey
When brightly-attired agit-pop genius M.I.A. ‘leaked’ a new track through her Twitter feed earlier this week, supposedly called ‘There’s Space For Ol’ Dat I See’, happy retweeters and eager bloggers spread it quicker than a bucky shot. There then followed a volley of questions – “Where did it come from?”, “Is it really new?”, “Will it be on the album?” – until yesterday’s official confirmation that, yes, it’s new, yes, it’s on the album, and oops, it’s actual title is ‘Space Odyssey’. Produced with the help of dubstep artist Rusko and recorded with a humble $100 budget, the track was conceived as a rapid-fire response to the a recently published article in the New York Times titled ‘The 31 Places To Go In 2010’, which awarded Sri Lanka the #1 spot. Reducing a country enduring ongoing, bloody civil strife into a “scenic” holiday destination for holiday makers was evidently too much for the artist, who has strong family roots there.
Despite its fiery context, ‘Space Odyssey’ sounds rather laidback; the moderately chilled tempo swirls with warm, trippy electro chimes and M.I.A’s sweet, sing-song vocals, but the glitchy tail end and floaty yet poignant lyrics imply a little more bite then is first obvious. Her imminent third album – her first post-motherhood – also features a series of collaborations with Baltimore club figure Blaqstarr, as well as a group of Filipino Verizon workers on a song called ‘I’m Down Like Your Internet Connection’. This unlikely collaboration came about through the most mundane of phone calls, as M.I.A. explained to Rolling Stone recently: “I was having issues with my cable and wireless, and I was on the phone [with tech support] for three hours, and I thought, ‘Maybe this needs to be part of my music, could you just learn these lyrics and sing it down the phone to me?’ 10 phone calls later, I have Internet that sticks and a song.”
On the subject of the new album, she added: “The last album, I didn’t actually sit anywhere long enough for it to really be in my life and to really think about it. Now I’m putting out my next album, and the world has changed. I came up talking shit about Bush, and it’s great that it’s changed, but I don’t know how much it’s changed, and I’m exploring that… I just want to be real, whatever that is. Even if my songs are shit, and if I have flaws and if I’m confused, if I offend people or if I don’t offend people, I might try to work it out in public – just so you know that it’s OK to think that thinking’s not a dirty word.”
Charlotte Richardson Andrews
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